I read an article about short term memory that stated people can remember between 5 and 9 words. One of the ways this is tested is by reading a series of words to someone and asking them to repeat the words. I wanted to build a fun, dynamic skill that helps people with their short term, highly volatile memory that is fun, engaging and allows multiple players.
What it does
Memory challenge gives you a series of words that you need to repeat back in order by saying "The answer is _____". Each time you get it right another word (or two, depending on the difficulty setting) is added and you have to repeat the words. This game allows for local multiplayer with up to 4 players, each player gets his/her own words. There is also a worldwide leaderboard so you can compare your memory with others for both individual games and lifetime scores. There are currently 4 difficulties, one multiplayer mode, and 2 additional modes being added for new ways to play (story mode, and daily challenges).
How I built it
Challenges I ran into
The biggest challenge I had was keeping the skill as simple as possible. My mind is quickly filled with grand ideas and I needed to simplify my ideas to create a fun and intuitive experience for my users.
My skill also stopped working completely when I was near completion (right before I submitted) and I did not get any helpful error codes. I had to go through and make changes at each step to debug my skill and determine the issue.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I designed and built my leaderboard, which is something I had never done before. If the person playing gets a score high enough their score will be posted to the high scores. This is done by making a call to Google Sheets, where the score is taken in and sorted.
I created a focus group for 6 people in the community to work together and provide feedback to each other. In addition to customer feedback, getting feedback from other developers was very helpful.
Here are some of my users playing the game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk2GRAY6cJ8 They let me see how real users play my skill, and even found an issue with it that was able to get fixed quickly.
What I learned
I learned a lot about managing lots of variables, APIs and user input in ways I had not experienced before. This skill helped me to better my technical skills, but also to hone my ability to get customer feedback and iterate to make my skill better and better.
I sent the skill to several friends and each provided feedback that helped me make the skill better, and in some cases fix big flaws that hurt my users' experience with the skill.
What's next for Memory Challenge
I am adding new themes to the game, and making changes to the "hard" and "impossible" game modes to make them challenging in a variety of ways. One example is adding a 10-second pause between listing the words and allowing the user to respond, requiring them to retain the list of words in memory for a longer period of time.
I am also working on building a reward system for players who play the game consistently and rewards those who get high scores in each of the game modes.